Grace Episcopal Church
26 March 2015
A palindrome is a word or phrase that reads the same forward and backward. For example, “Was it a car or a cat I saw?” reads the same in both directions, allowing for punctuation, spacing, etc. Wags who are enamored of palindromes love to claim that the first words between two human beings were palindromic, as in “Madam, I’m Adam.” The reality of course, is that the first words recorded for Adam when he saw Eve were “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh ...” (Gen. 2.23). We understand this phrase to reveal the revelation of a divine mystery, of the new creation that comes about in human bonding. But what about how this bond then works in the Church, in the Bride of Christ?
God rarely acts alone. He chooses to act with others. He used human authors in revealing His will through the word of scripture. He used Mary to give His Son human nature and flesh. In other words, He chooses to act with us, and the “us” becomes God’s partner in the Church. As important as an individual relationship with Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior is, the Christian vocation and identity is incomplete alone. This being God’s plan, we need to pay attention to the implications between the identification of Adam and Eve as bone of bone and flesh of flesh of each other, and the identification of the Church as the Bride of Jesus. We become the flesh of Jesus Christ! We, gathered as the Church, literally incarnate Jesus to the world. And, we become flesh of each other in the mystical union of the Church with Christ.
When I reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC in 1977, a company commander advised that each of us look to our right and to our left. He said, “Of the three people, you, the one on your right and the one on your left, one will be gone before you become a Marine.” Sadly, this was true, but consider this exercise from another perspective. When you look around you in worship, look at the people you know and the people you do not know, and realize that in Christ each one of them is a part of you and you are a part of them. Church is something that happens together, together with each other in God. We matter to each other because God has placed us here together.
Can we look to another member of the Church and say “flesh of my flesh”? In Christ we can and must. In Christ we experience new creation together. As we gather over the coming week in our annual remembrance and participation of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection, let us keep close to our hearts the truth that as we experience new life in God we experience new life in each other. Oh, and when you disagree, you might quote another palindrome, “Go hang a salami! I’m a lasagna hog!”
Grace abounds: Please thank:
§ Jessica Ambelang the Friday simple supper.
§ The Aparicio family for the Sunday coffee hours.
§ Jessica Ambelang, Nicci Beck, and Traci Revis for food for the Saturday Stations of the Cross procession. Mary Snyder for managing publicity of the event.
§ Mary Snyder for food for the Vestry retreat.
Installation of the Archdeacon: Details are found below on the Chrism Mass, which will be held on Saturday, 28 March, at the cathedral. This is a wonderful opportunity to gather will all of the clergy of the diocese, but at Grace we have an extra reason to be present. Our own Deacon Michele Whitford will be installed as archdeacon of the diocese. Here is the story from clergy news:
An archdeacon is a clergyperson with a defined administrative authority delegated by the diocesan bishop. The archdiaconate dates to antiquity and until the fifteenth century it was of great importance in diocesan administration. Its beginnings in the first three centuries of the Church were as a deacon selected by the bishop for service as an assistant charged with the care of the poor and supervisor of other deacons. By the middle ages, the position included priests and much more authority, so much that in the thirteenth century the church began to limit the archdeacons' independent character and so it practically became an empty title. For more in-depth treatment of the archdiaconate, click here.
In the Episcopal Church the position of archdeacon has grown in the past decades with a bishop assigning limited diocesan administrative authority to an archdeacon. The position may be held by a deacon or a priest. An archdeacon is often installed (placed in a stall) at the Cathedral. The written honorific for an archdeacon is "The Venerable."
The Venerable Edwin B. Smith was instituted and installed as Archdeacon in 1993 and has served since then as a counselor to bishops. Most recently he serves as deployment office of clergy for the diocese. The Venerable Michele E. Whitford will be instituted and installed as Archdeacon at the 2015 Chrism Mass. She will serve as a liaison between the bishop and the deacons of the diocese and chair the Deacon's Council overseeing diaconal ministry.
Podcasts! The parish is blessed with many gifts that allow for more effective communication and outreach. We have a truly superior website (thanks to Jon!), with many useful links; there is a weekly blog; and starting tomorrow we will add podcasts. A podcast is a short audio and video broadcast received over an internet connection, on your smart phone or computer or tablet. We will begin on a Mon—Wed—Fri schedule, with links posted to the blog and website. On Mondays we will simply post the Sunday sermon as an audio file. Wednesdays will feature a brief talk that might involve teaching or discussion of a current issue. Fridays will feature a broadcast of evensong.
In most weeks the Friday evensong will be for that day, Friday. For our first podcast we will post evensong for Thrudsay, 19 March, the Feast of St. Joseph. To begin evensong will be offered by Fr. Karl and Ben Dobey, two voices, but we are working to turn this into a four voiced service.
Once you link to the podcast (found here on the website under "Media" you can enter your details to receive the podcasts automatically.
Youth and Family Ministry: Spring is here, and as we know here in Wisconsin that means, there's a mess outside. The youth group noticed this problem and a couple of weeks ago, we grabbed some gloves and garbage bags and we picked up litter all the way around the church building, and the surrounding block or two.
I didn't put it in the newsletter before because I was struggling with whether or not I should tell everybody, or keep it quiet. In the bible Jesus tells a parable about a Pharisee who prays loudly about how well he follows the Law, so that others to notice that he is being devout. While another person who is struggling in mind and body prays silently and earnestly for forgiveness for his sins.
In this story obviously the Pharisee is obnoxious, proclaiming to God, but really to those around him, how great he is for doing good things. The other man is a tax collector, and a Jewish tax collector has a lot of bad stigma surrounding them. However it is the person who prays quietly that is justified. So, I'm struggling with the line, "all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted."
Obviously, by now I've decided that advertising that we did something helpful (if not good) is in our best interest. I feel that the more I can keep the activities of the youth group front and center, the more likely their actions will be noticed at all. Our young people are amazing, and busy, and stressed, and trying to find their place in the wider world, but for a couple of hours on a Sunday evening we stopped, and picked up the trash outside their (our) church.
We are not asking thanks or congratulations, that is the opposite of what we want. I just want you to know that this happened.
In other news, starting the week after Easter we will be starting a new movie in Film School. We will be discussing the movie "The Fault In Our Stars" in which two young people with cancer fall in love. Afterwards we will have our last movie of the school year called "Stolen Summer" about a Jewish boy who meets a Catholic boy, and learn about each other's families, and what find a community in spite of borders.
Call for Contributions: If you have a spiritual reflection to share, or want to point your fellow worshippers toward a resource, submit your contributions to Fr. Karl (by email) by Wednesday in the week of publication.
Music this week: Palm Sunday (The Sunday of the Passion)
Blessing of the Palms Hosanna in the highest Dobey
Processional Hymns: 154 “All glory, laud and honor” Valet will
156 “Ride on! Ride on in majesty” Winchester New
Psalm 22:1-11 (responsorial) Chant: Dobey
Tract: Ps. 22:26-30 Plainsong
Offertory Hymn 162 “The royal banners forward go” Vexilla Regis
Communion Motet Daughters of Zion Mendelssohn
Communion Hymn 168 “O sacred head, sore wounded” Passion Chorale
Postlude Chorale Prelude on ‘O sacred head, now wounded’ Brahms
§ Easter Flowers and Music: It is not too late to donate for Easter Flowers and Music. We enjoy the Beauty of Holiness in both the flowers that adorn the church and the special music which includes brass at the Easter Vigil and strings at the Solemn Mass on Easter morning. Please be generous at you are able. Please call the office or fill out a pink slip to indication your wish for memorials and/or thanksgivings. The deadline is Monday, March 30th at noon.
§ Sacrament of Reconciliation: Lent is a time of self-examination preparing for the death and resurrection of our Lord. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered by appointment. Please contact Fr. Schaffenburg to set up an appointment to make your confession.
§ Maundy Thursday Foot Washing: Everyone will have the opportunity to have their feet washed and to wash someone else’s feet following the example of Jesus washing his disciple’s feet. Please wear socks and shoes that are easily removed.
§ Vigil before the Altar of Repose: Please sign up to watch and pray for an hour at the Altar of Repose beginning immediately following the Maundy Thursday Mass April 17th and concluding Friday, April 18th as the Good Friday Liturgy begins. There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the Narthex, more than one person can sign up for any given hour.
§ Good Friday Offering: Every year since 1922 the church has taken a collection for the Church in the Middle East during Holy Week. This year our loose plate offering on Good Friday will go to support the church efforts in Jerusalem and throughout the Middle East. Please be generous as you are able.
§ Easter Vigil Dinner: The first Mass of the Resurrection is on Saturday, April 4, at 7:00 p.m. The Easter celebration then continues at Trattoria Stefano, 522 South 8th Street, at 9:30 p.m. The actual cost of the meal is a gift to the parish, so you not only get a delicious meal but you help the church by purchasing a ticket for the dinner. Tickets can be bought in the parish office or in the narthex after mass for $50 a person. Everyone is invited, but seats are limited. There are scholarships for anyone wishing to attend but are unable to donate. The deadline is Monday March 30th.
§ Easter Gala Reception: We will continue our Easter celebration with a Gala Reception after the 10:15 a.m. Mass on Sunday, April 20. Please sign up to bring sweets or savories and to help clean up afterwards. There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the Narthex.
§ Stay Connected! There are many ways to stay connected and find all the latest announcements. Grace Church can be found by “liking” us on Facebook. You can also sign up for the Grace Notes blog at http://gracechurchgracenotes.blogspot.com/ on the right hand side there is a place to sign up and receive the blog by email. You can find the Grace Church website at www.gracesheboygan.com. At the end of each bulletin there is QR code that you can scan with your smart phone and it will take you directly to the website. If you have an email address you can receive the Angelus electronically and save the church some printing and postage costs as well as receive any gentle reminders that may pop up between Angelus publications. If you have questions about any of these things please call the office.
§ Bake Sale/Plant Sale/Rummage Sale: Friday, April 24th from 12:00-3:00pm and Saturday, April 25, from 9:00-2:00, in conjunction with St. Luke Methodist rummage sale, Grace will be selling baked goods with proceeds going to Sunday School’s outreach projects. Baked goods will be accepted by anyone who would like to bake: pies, breads, muffins, cookies or anything you would like to donate. Baked goods can be dropped off at the church anytime before Friday at noon. We will be once again selling plants from our cutting garden. Proceeds go to maintain the garden. Grace will also have a small rummage. Please bring your items pre-priced. The proceeds will go to Grace Church fund raising. Please contact Jessica Ambelang if you have questions.